Welcome Family...change has come! It is time to possess the Promise Land!
Welcome Family...change has come! It is time to possess the Promise Land!

Jesus Sends Out the Seventy-Two

10 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

"When you enter a house, first say, 'Peace to this house.' If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.

"When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. Heal the sick (physically-mentally-emotionally-financially-educationally-spiritually) who are there and tell them, 'The kingdom of God has come near to you.'

WILL & CORA HILL ~ Project #10595
Prepared for
Brenda Hill-Riggins
May 2016
May 2016
The client had multiple objectives in wishing to trace several lines of her family that connect with Will and Cora Hill. Her request for research included the following directives.
Objective 1 This was two parts.
1A -- To trace the line of Cora Mack, focusing on the George Mack line and with the goal of discovering more about an Asa Mack, which DNA testing said was a slave from Africa.
1B -- To discover more about Quilla Mack Smith, to whom Asa is said to have been married, and her mother Maria Smith, looking at the possibility of a connection with President Bush.
Objective 2
The second objective was to discover or verify ancestors of Cora Mack on her maternal Nesbitt side, using Lottie Bell Nesbitt as a starting point.
Objective 3
The third objective was to discover or verify ancestors of Willie Elijah Hill through his mother
Willie Mae Mathews’ line.
The client provided a great deal of information collected from personal research, including notes and charts of the lines in question. In some cases, this information included dates and places of origin. Upon questioning, the client indicated that much of the information was “assumed” rather than documented and that the DNA testing referred to in the research request was not certain. Given the unreliability of information provided, the research method decided upon was to begin with the family members in the Mack, Smith, Nesbitt, and Hill lines most directly related to the client and work backward chronologically to verify or eliminate persons on the family tree.
This investigation showed that the Mack, Smith, and Nesbitt lines that the client specified for research lived in Burke County, Georgia, from an unspecified time during slavery until 1905 when the portion of the county in which they lived became part of the newly-formed county of Jenkins. It appeared that nearly all these family members connected with the client lived in the
same area of Burke and Jenkins counties until after World War I and some lived their entire lives there. The exception was the Hill line. The client’s William Elijah Hill was born in Georgia and his wife Willie Mae Mathews in Alabama, but they raised their children in Florida.
The Mack, Smith, and Nesbitt lines lived in an area of Burke County between Herndon and Millen, south to the Ogeechee River, and north to Birdsville. This area today includes historic Birdsville Plantation, which is representative of a cluster of plantations owned by members of the Jones family. It encompassed the following militia districts, which are important in the client’s genealogy:
Burke County, Districts 74 and 75, part of 71 prior to 1905
Jenkins County, District 1634, 1635 after 1905.
The post office for this area was Birdsville, named in 1813 for postmaster Samuel Bird, but later was moved to the township of Herndon. Herndon and the townships Birdsville, Rogers, and Millen occur in many of the records showing members of the Mack, Smith, and Nesbitt families.
Asa Mack and Quilla Smith.
Census searches show African American men named Asa Mack, who were born in the mid-19th
century, are rare in the United States. As a result, this investigation discovered only a single match in both spelling and approximate age in the area where these families lived for half a century or more. An Asa Mack, age 71 (born about 1859), was recorded living as a boarder in the home of Lucy Owens in the 1930 census of Jenkins County, District 1634.
In the 1910 census, there was an Acey Mack, age 54, married to a woman named Luanie with two children, who could be the Asa Mack of the 1930 census if Acey is a nickname for Asa, since it is also in District 1634. Although there are many African American families named Mack in Burke and Jenkins counties, neither of these men could be found in any other census of Burke
or Jenkins counties. No death or cemetery record for an Asa Mack could be found.
No slaves named Asa were found in any of the pre-Emancipation estate records available in the districts where the client’s Macks and Smiths are found living after Emancipation, and there
was no white Mack family that owned slaves in Burke County, which suggests Asa may have
been among those slaves who did not use their owners’ surnames upon being freed.
In neighboring Screven County, however, there is a Mock family, with a family member named Asa J. Mock, who were slave owners. Unfortunately, courthouse fires have destroyed nearly all pre-1870 records in Screven County. As a result, there are no documents that include lists of slave names for the Mock family in Screven County.
No record of a marriage between Asa Mack and Quilla Smith could be found, but there is a marriage record between an Airy McNatt and a Quilly Williams in 1886 in Burke County, which would fit the client’s time frame for when Quilla Smith began to have children with Asa Mack, starting about 1887. This marriage is of interest because Quilla’s son Knowledge Mack and Quilla herself in information given for her daughter Mary’s death certificate, state that her maiden name was Williams, not Smith.
The question then becomes why did Quilla’s mother Maria (or Mariah) Smith say 9-year-old Quilla’s name was Smith in the 1880 census and repeat that declaration when Quilla was an adult with Mack children living with Maria in the 1900 census record?
A fourth different surname was found attached to this same Quilla in the 1930 and 1940 census
records, when she is living with her children Mary (1930) and Knowledge (1940) under the name Quilla Scott. Possibly this is the result of a marriage to a man named Scott, but no record of that could be found.
No death or cemetery record for a Quilla Smith, Quilla Mack, Quilla Williams, or Quilla Scott could be found that match the woman named Quilla in the 1900 census who has children Mary, Knowledge, Oscar, Rubis, and Willie. Additional information is included in the body of this report.
Maria/Mariah Smith This research found a slave named Maria, age 13, in the 1858 estate records of James W. Jones, whose plantation was in District 74 of Burke County. This is a match for the age of Mariah Smith, mother of Quilla, who is recorded in the 1880 census as having been born in 1845. In addition, a slave named Maria, age 5-6, with a woman who appears to be her mother, named Nelly, age 24-25, was purchased by Seaborn H. Jones from William Barnes
in 1850. Many slaves in Burke County had the names Maria and Mariah, so this is likely coincidental, but the girl’s age is the same as the one in the estate records of James W. Jones, who was Seaborn’s brother.
Another problem is the Mariah Smith of the 1880 census, who is shown as Quilla’s mother, becomes Maria Smith in the 1900 census and was born in 1850, not 1845, yet Quilla’s presence in both census records proves it is the same woman.
Lottie Belle Nesbitt was found to be the daughter of William Nesbitt and Rosa Simmons, as the client indicated. William Henry Nesbitt was recorded in the 1900 census as the son of Robert C. Nesbitt and Virginia Johnson, when he is 8 years old, yet a 1923 death notice for William in Florida indicates that a Minnie Green rather than Virginia Johnson was his mother. A more detailed discussion can be found in this report.
By 1900, Robert and Virginia Nesbitt have five children in their household. Virginia appears to have died within the next 10 years because Robert is found in the 1910 census with a wife named Annie of a different age than Virginia. By 1920, Robert’s wife is shown to be a woman named Amy. They lived in District 1634 in Jenkins County, the same as the Macks and Smiths. Robert’s parents could not be determined. But because Robert’s surname was Nesbitt and he named his eldest son Charles, there is a possibility of an association with plantation owner Charles E. Nesbitt who owned slaves in this area of Burke County.
Willie Mae Mathews (born Alabama 1905) could not be found under this name or under the name Willie Mae Johnson. Two generations of Johnsons labeled by the client as Willie Mae’s parents and grandparents were white families in Alabama who happened to have a daughter named Willie Mae. Three of William and Willie Mae Hill’s children have social security application claims that differ on their mother’s maiden name: Willie M. Matthews, Willie M. Johnson, and Willie M. Jones, while consistently giving their father’s name as Willie Hill (not Elijah), so it seems they did not know her maiden name. A search using these surnames for women named Willie Mae, born 1905 in Alabama, provided no additional information as to who her parents may have been.
The client’s Willie Mae was found in Florida in the 1940 census as the wife of William Hill (born Georgia) with children Charles, Mattie Pearl, Helen, Junior (William Jr born 1833, matching the client’s Willie Elijah), Eugene, Evelyn, and Louise. This family was also found in the 1930
census, when Charles was only a year old. William and Willie Mae indicated they had been married two years, which would have been about 1928, but no marriage record could be located. Census records indicated that Willie Hill was born in Georgia, but he could not be located prior to his marriage to Willie Mae because there was nothing to identify him other than his name, which is very common.
The Walter Hill and Pearlie Thompson, said by the client to be the parents of the William (Elijah) Hill married to Willie Mae, were located in the 1920 census of Thomas County, Georgia, but among their children there was no William or Elijah. In verification, the 1910 census showed Walter and Pearlie with two children matching the eldest two in the 1920 census, so the
William (or Elijah) married to Willie Mae does not appear to have been their son unless he went by a different name than William or Elijah. Of note also is that fact that William never went by Elijah in census records.

Background on Burned Counties
The problem with doing research on people who were slaves in Burke County is that it is a burned county, which means courthouse records were lost to fires, the earliest in 1856. Since this kind of research depends on slave names given in inventories of the estate records of plantation owners who died prior to Emancipation and/or on slave bills of sale found in Court of the Ordinary records, searching for Asa Mack and Quillia Mack Smith’s mother Mariah (Maria) Smith was hampered by loss of records as well as by slave holders who lived beyond Emancipation, which eliminated lists of slaves from their estate inventories.
In particular, the 1870 census, which is the first record of emancipated slaves grouped as families with surnames, is only partial for Burke County, and the missing parts are of those districts in which the client’s ancestors lived. The first complete Burke County census including African Americans is 1880, by which time families had sometimes relocated and/or family members born into slavery had died.
Background on Slave Names
While many freed slaves adopted the surnames of their former owners, many chose to start their new lives with a different name. According to historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr, these chosen surnames came from their occupations, prominent local or national figures, and names passed down among family members, since many people secretly had surnames to identify their families while enslaved. It is also the case that when former slaves were held by more than one owner, they often adopted the names of their original masters rather than their most recent ones.1
To trace the line of Cora Mack, focusing on the George Mack line, and with the goal of discovering more about an Asa Mack, said to have been a slave in Georgia.
Asa Mack
According to the client, Asa Mack is said to have been a former slave, who beginning about
1887 had six children with Quilla Smith, the daughter of a Maria (also found as Mariah) Smith
who lived in Burke County near the township of Herndon.
The 1900 census for Burke County supports this information, showing a Quilla Mack Smith living with her mother Maria Smith, District 75, and five of Quilla’s children with the surname Mack: Mary 13, Knowledge 11, Oscar 9, Rubis 7, Willie 2. The census also indicates that Quilla had six children, with five still living, so all five are accounted for in this census.2
The eldest son, Knowledge Mack, states in his social security claims application in 1936 that his parents were Asa Mack and Quillie Williams (see below).3 The client said it was assumed that the name Williams was a mistake. That does not seem to be the case because the death certificate of her oldest child, Mary Mack, who married a man named Hicks, also shows her parents as Asa Mack and Quilly Williams, and this research has discovered it was Quilla herself who provided this information.4
The eldest son, Knowledge Mack, states in his social security claims application in 1936 that his parents were Asa Mack and Quillie Williams (see below).3 The client said it was assumed that the name Williams was a mistake. That does not seem to be the case because the death certificate of her oldest child, Mary Mack, who married a man named Hicks, also shows her parents as Asa Mack and Quilly Williams, and this research has discovered it was Quilla herself who provided this information.4
A search of census records in Burke, Jenkins, and other counties did not turn up an Asa Mack with this specific spelling, except in one instance.
The 1930 census of Jenkins County, District 1634, showed an Asa Mack, age 71, widower, living as a boarder with Lula Owens. This would make his birth about 1859.5
The 1910 census, Jenkins County, District 1634, included an Acey Mack, age 54, married to a woman named Luanie, with two young children, John, 6, and Beulah, 3. Acey (possibly a nickname for Asa) stated that this was his second marriage and he is about the same age as the Asa Mack in the 1930 census. There is a marriage record for a Quillie Williams to an Airy McNatt in 1886, which would fit the timeframe for the birth of Quilla’s children, but nothing more could be found about an Airy McNatt.6
No Asa Mack (or any approximation of that name) matching the birth location and age of the client’s Asa Mack could be found in the 1880, 1900, 1920, or 1940 census records for Georgia or elsewhere. Because Asa’s children are found living with Quilla Mack Smith in 1900, this census was of particular interest, but he could not be located living near them. An expanded search did not offer any additional clues as to his whereabouts, though it is likely he never left Burke/Jenkins counties.
The Asa Mack in the client’s family tree, living in Monroe County, NY, was from that area and
lived there his entire life so is not connected to the Asa Mack in Georgia.
Although there were no slave holders named Mack in Burke County, there is in neighboring Screven County a large family of slave holders named Mock. Among them is an Asa J. Mock, but records in Screven County were burned even more inclusively than in Burke, and so there was no way to check on a possible association with Asa Mack.7
There were no African American Mocks found in Burke County census records, but there were many Mack families living there in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The following is a list of male heads of Mack families in what remains of the Burke County 1870 census. All would have been born before Emancipation. Unfortunately, the militia districts in which the client’s Macks, Smiths, and Nesbitts have been found are missing from the 1870 census.8
Rose Mack, 50
Samuel Mack, 44
Moses Mack, 40
Lauril Mack, 36
James Mack 34
Louis Mack, 40
Arthur Mack, 21
George Mack, 24
Thomas Mack, 20

Another interesting find that could not be tracked any further was what appears to have been a freed black family in the 1850 census of Burke County. Emily Mack 30, and children Henry 15, Raymond 7, Lettice 5, Enoch 5 months.9 A search for these family members turned up only a Henry Mack, who appeared in tax lists of 1874-80 in Freedman’s District.10
Knowledge Mack
In order to try and discover a link through naming patterns, a search was conducted for any males named Knowledge Mack in Burke and Jenkins counties. The only one to appear was the Knowledge Mack who stated that his parents were Asa Mack and Quillie Williams. He is found consistently living in the area of Herndon where his World War I draft registration states he was born on May 10, 1893.11 Census records in 1900, 1920, 1930, and 1940, however, show his
birth year as early as 1889 and as late as 1898. Knowledge could not be located in the 1910 census, even in broader searches.12
Of particular interest is the 1940 census in Jenkins County, District 75, which lists Knowledge Mack, age 42, with a second wife named Obenia, age 30. A search for his first wife Cora Buxton found a death certificate indicating that she died in 1933.13 Her parents’ names were given as Bush Buxton and Amelia Jackson, which disagrees with a marriage certificate that says Bush Buxton married Amelia Solomon (see footnote 25). Obviously, Obenia is Knowledge’s second marriage.
Equally important is that living in Knowledge’s household in 1940 was a woman named Quillie Scott, age 66, widow, designated as Knowledge’s mother.14 This would make her birth year about 1874, which is within the range to indicate she is the Quillie Mack Smith (born 1871) of the 1900 census.
This Quillie Scott is also shown as the mother living with Mary Hix (Hicks) in the 1930 census, Jenkins County, Millen.15 A death certificate proves Mary is the sister of Knowledge because her parents’ names are given as Asa Mack and Quilly Williams, the same as those given by her


brother in his social security record. And it was Quillie Scott herself who provided the information for Mary’s death certificate. Quillie’s age in the 1930 census is given as 50, which seems to be an error since it is not consistent with her ages in the 1880, 1900, and 1940 census records.16
As a result of this information, it appears that the Quilla Mack Smith listed as mother of Knowledge, Mary, and three other children in the 1900 census was born Quilla Williams and also went by three other surnames in her life: Smith, Mack, and Scott. No records could be found for a woman the age of Quilla Mack Smith marrying anyone with these surnames.
This research did a broad sweep of searches for death records, but the only Knowledge Mack found was one who died in Broward County, Florida, in 1955.17 There was nothing to connect this man to the Knowledge Mack in Georgia.
If Knowledge is a name passed down in this family, there is a possible slave connection to a Williams family in Burke County. A male slave, age 10, named Knowledge lived on the plantation of Seaborn H. Jones, as noted in estate records of 1856.18 Knowledge lived on Jones’ Ogeechee Plantation and appeared to be the son of a woman named Nelly, age 30. A possible match was found in the 1880 census, in which a Knowledge Williams, age 37, appeared as the son of an Alex and Nellie Williams, both age 67.19 How they may be connected could not be determined, but these were the only two men named Knowledge found in this area.
To discover more about Quilla Mack Smith, to whom Asa is said to have been married, and any possibility of a connection with President Bush.
Quilla Mack Smith (Williams and Scott)
As noted in the previous section of this report, research on Asa Mack and two of his children, Knowledge Mack and Mary Mack Hicks, created uncertainty about the maiden name of Quilla Mack Smith, who is shown in the 1900 census to be the mother of Knowledge, Mary, Oscar, Rubis, and Willie Mack.
In the 1880 census, Burke County, District 74, Quilla, age 9, was listed as the daughter of Mariah Smith. Her siblings were listed as Mitchell Smith, age 7, and Ramand (Raymond) Smith, age 1. This makes Quilla born about 1871. The 1890 U.S. census was lost to fire and water damage, so a gap of 20 years occurred before Quilla was found once more in records.
In 1900, the census in Burke County, District 75, showed Quilla again living with her mother, this time spelled Maria Smith. Quilla was listed as Quilla Mack Smith with the five children already noted. She stated she had six children in all but one had died.20
Despite this rather strong evidence in census records that Quilla’s maiden name was Smith, the discovery that Quilla herself provided the information for her daughter Mary’s 1938 death certificate proves otherwise. Quilla, by then carrying the surname Scott, stated that Mary’s mother was Quillie Williams and Mary’s father was Asa Mack.21 This is reinforced by her son Knowledge Macks social security application in 1936, which gives the same information about his parents.22
The only explanation this researcher could come up with is that Maria Smith – who stated she was “single” in 1880 but a “widow” in 1900 – was born a Smith (or took the name Smith upon Emancipation), had a husband named Williams prior to 1880 with whom she had Quilla (and possibly Mitchell and Ramond), and after her husband’s death returned to using Smith for herself and her children. A similar discrepancy is seen with Maria’s son Ramond, whose surname is Smith in 1880 but Lewis in 1900.
The 1870 census of Burke County, for the town of Waynesboro showed an Absalom Lewis, 27, married to a Mariah, age 27, with children Robert, 8, and Mary 2.23 This is a close match in age for the Mariah of the 1880 census (and in slave records). But this census is in conflict with
Maria’s testimony in 1900 that she had only four children, three of which are accounted for as
Quilla, Mitchell, and Ramond, and Absalom Lewis could not be found in the 1880 census.
Quilla’s listing in the 1930 and 1940 census records as Quilla Scott, “mother,” of the same two children (Knowledge and Mary) indicates that Quilla married a man named Scott between 1900 and 1930. Although she lived past the period of the issuance of social security cards, neither a claims application record nor a death record could be found that might specify her father’s or husband’s name.
One further note on Quilla’s name is that among slaves who were emancipated, Quilla has
been found as a surname, which likely is of West African origin. As one expert on African names writes:
The English Qu pronunciation is identical to the African Kw pronunciation found in Nigerian and Ghanaian languages. More specifically, the Akan people of Ghana speak a language called Twi which contain a number of Kw words and names. Of the Kw names and words examined in the Kwa sub-family, Quilla bears some phonetic resemblance to Kwale, the name of a region in southwest Nigeria inhabited by the K wale Igbo people, a branch of the larger Igbo ethnic group.
However, Quilla has been found to possess a more striking resemblance to the Kongo name Kouilou, which is also spelled Kwilu or Kwile. It is the name of a river that runs from northern Angola into the Kwile and Bandundu region of the present-day, southern Democratic of the Congo (formerly Zaire), a region largely inhabited since the fourteenth century by the Kikongo- speaking group known as the Bakongo or Kongopeople. Transatlantic slave trade figures show that Africans from the Angola-Congo region of West-Central Africa were the preponderant
group transported into South Carolina during the early part of the eighteenth century. Nearly 70 percent of the African-based population of 39,000 in South Carolina by 1739 was derived from West-Central Africa.24
This research did not find any connection between Quilla Mack Smith and the Bush Family, based on the information provided by the client in the Dropbox or in an email discussing Wilkinson County and William Mack Bush.
The research did show that Knowledge Mack’s wife Cora Buxton was the daughter of Bush Buxton and Amelia (or Cornelia) Solomon. They were married Aug. 10, 1884 in Burke County. The names on the marriage certificate are Bush Buxton and Melia Solomon.25

1900 census, Burke, Dist. 75, Bush Buxton 40 and Amelia 40, married 15 years with Ada 15, Pauline 10, Cora 7. Recorded on the same page of this census is an Amelia Buxton, age 53, a widow. Her connection with Bush Buxton could not be determined, though she may be his sister-in-law if she married a brother of Bush’s.26
1910 Jenkins County, District 1634, Millen and Herndon Road, Bush 50, Amelia 45, Cora 19, grandchildren Laura 14, Mack 7, Willie 11 months.27
Bush Buxton’s parents could not be determined because he was already living as a single male, age 22, in the 1880 census of Burke County, District 75 and the partial 1870 census does not include this district.28 The only other Buxton family living in Burke County in 1880, District 75, was James Buxton, 65, (born abt 1815) and Becky 58, with children James 13, Mariah 16, Sophie 7.29 James seems too old to be Bush’s father but could be his grandfather.
The 1920 census for Knowledge Mack and his family includes Cornelia Buxton, 60, mother-in- law, suggesting that Bush has died. Why her name is Amelia in the census records and Cornelia in the one census is not known.
Maria or Mariah Smith
In trying to discover more about Quilla Mack Smith, the investigation tried to determine the origin of Maria Smith, who in the 1880 and 1900 census records is designated as mother of Quilla Smith.
Estate inventories in Burke County, Georgia, show several female slaves were given the names
Mariah or Maria. The lack of standardized spelling at the time suggests that the name may
have been pronounced the same way, but whether that would have been Mar-ee-a or Mar-eye- ah could not be determined.
This research found two age/name matches for slaves named Maria/Mariah and the Maria
Smith of the 1880 census, who was born in 1845.
The first was a slave on the James W. Jones plantation. In Jones’ 1858 estate papers, a girl named Maria, age 13, was listed. This would make her birth year (1845) the same as that of Mariah Smith’s in the 1880 census record (District 74).30
The second was in 1850, a bill of sale between William E. Barnes and Seaborn H. Jones, which conveyed a female slave, named Sizzy (possibly Lizzy), age about 24-25, and her daughter Mariah, age 5-6, to Jones. The two slave girls may not be the same person but they are the same age and both are associated with the Jones family.31
No other corroborating records or bills of sale in the Court of the Ordinary could be found to determine whether the slave named Maria was Mariah Smith of the 1880 census. Complicating the issue is that 20 years later in 1900, 32 Maria Smith’s age was given as 50 in the census, making her birth five years later than given in the 1880 census.33
It should also be mentioned that if Maria did retain the name Smith from a plantation owner, there is evidence of several Smiths owning slaves in Burke County. The 1850 slave holders named Smith were:
Noah Smith Susan Smith Nancy Smith
Benjamin T.L. Smith (the largest of the Smith slave holders) Walden B. Smith
Matthew Smith34
Burke County plantation owners and slave holders found in Georgia Slave Bills of Sale on Afrigeneas.com included the following Marias and Mariahs. As one can see, the name Mariah was so often used that one owner had several slaves by that name. Ages of the slaves were not recorded.35
Maria, seller F.A. Jones Maria, seller James Grubbs Mariah, seller James Grubbs Mariah, seller James Grubbs Mariah, seller R.F. Coneley Mariah, seller James Grubbs
Of interest living next door to Maria Smith and Quilla and her children in 1900 was a James Smith, age 80, and wife Caroline 60, with a child Henrietta 14.36 Although it could not be determined by further research, James may be a family connection of some kind for Maria and Quilla.
Maria could not be found in the 1910 census.
In the 1920 census, there was an age match to a Maria Smith, 70, living in Greene County, Georgia, with West Smith (designated as son-in-law) and his wife Jennie, 40.37 Whether this is the Maria Smith of the 1900 census in Burke County is uncertain. For that to be the case, Jennie would have to be her child and Jennie was born in 1880, the year Maria is shown in the census with children Quilla 9, Mitchell 7, and Ramand 1. Although it is possible that Maria could have had another child that year, it seems somewhat unlikely given her age and situation. By 1900, Maria stated she had four children and only three were living. Two of them were in her household – Quilla and Ramond. So if Jennie Smith in the 1920 census was her child, then
Mitchell must have died, but no record could be found for a Jennie Smith prior to 1920 or a
Mitchell Smith after 1900.
As with Maria’s daughter Quilla, another unexplained name change occurs with her son Ramond. In 1900, a Ramond Lewis, age 18, was designated as Maria’s son.38 This almost certainly has to be the Ramond Smith, age 1, of the 1880 census.39 Why Ramond’s name was listed as Smith like his siblings Quilla and Mitchell in one census and Lewis 20 years later is not certain.
The only other document found that may be related to Maria Smith was a 1925 death certificate in Jenkins County, showing that a Mariah Mack, age 85, died in a pauper’s home in the city of Waynesboro.40 Since her name was given as Mack, there is likely no connection.

To discover or verify ancestors of Cora Mack on her maternal Nesbitt side, using Lottie Bell
Nesbitt as a starting point.
Lottie Bell Nesbitt
Lottie Bell Nesbitt was the daughter of William Nesbitt and Rosa Simmons.
This is proven by the 1920 census showing the family unit in Jenkins County, Georgia, District
1634. William and Rosa both 25, Marie 7, Matthew 5, Martha 3, and Lottie B. 1.41
A World War I Draft Registration notice, June 1917, District 1634, Burke County, for William Henry Nesbitt stated that he had a wife and three children.42 Since Lottie wasn’t born until about 1919, this is almost certainly the same William Nesbitt shown as her father in the 1920 census. William also stated in his draft registration that he was born in Rogers, Georgia, and works on the “Henry Jones place.” This Jones is not a descendant of the Jones plantation owners, one of whom was also named Henry, but an African American who owned a farm nearby.
Rogers, Georgia, is an area directly south of Hwy 17 at the intersection of Birdsville Road, which turns into Rogers Landing Road when it crosses 17. This road then turns and runs along the border of the Ogeechee River and is known as Rogers or Rogers Landing. Seaborn Jones owned a plantation on the Ogeechee and Joseph B. Jones owned one north of Rogers Landing. It was Joseph Jones’ plantation house that Gen. William T. Sherman used as his temporary headquarters on the Union Army’s March through Georgia in 1864.
According to the 1900 census in Burke County, District 75, William Nesbitt’s parents were
Robert C. and Virginia Nesbitt.43

William was 8 years old at this time and the other children included Charlie 13, Robert 11, Ezra
6, Vergin 1 (f). Charlie later indicated that he, like Knowledge Mack, was born in Herndon.
This finding, however is complicated by two other records that make William’s parentage less certain. A marriage record for Bob Nesbitt and Virginia Johnson was located in Burke County, dated June 11, 1898, 44 yet Robert and Virginia stated in the 1900 census that they had been married since 1887.45 This appeared to be supported by Virginia’s declaration that she had given birth to six children, five still living, and there are five in the household with Robert.
However, a 1923 death notice for William Nesbitt in Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida shows his wife as Rosa and his father as Robert Nesbitt but his mother as Minnie Green.46 Support for what at first appeared to be contradictory information about William’s mother was found in the
1910 census, when Robert, then married to a woman named Annie, declared that it was his fourth marriage.47
If this information is reliable, it may be that Virginia Johnson was Robert’s third wife and all of the children in the 1900 census, except for Vergin, age 1, named after Virginia Johnson, are Robert’s by two other marriages. The only Minnie Green found was a woman in the 1910 census married to Earnest Green, with three children, but this is not the Minnie Green who was married to Robert because they declared it was their first marriage.
The 1910 census, Jenkins County, District 1634, showed Robert, 42, has remarried to a woman named Annie, 35.48 Of interest is that Annie says this is her second marriage, but Robert says this is his fourth. The children listed are William H. 18 and Ezra 16, which match two of the

ones in the 1900 census when Robert was married to Virginia.
The 1920 census, Jenkins, District 1634, showed Bob Nesbit 55 with a wife named Amy, age
35, and a child Ellee 15 who was not listed in the previous census. Given that this Amy is the same age as Annie 10 years before, it appears as though Robert has married a fifth time. The child Ellee, in that case, must be Amy’s by another marriage or she would have been in the
1910 census with Robert.49
By the 1930 census, Robert Nesbitt was 63, Amy 47, and a daughter Elizabeth 10. This daughter was likely Robert’s by Amy.50
An Amy Nesbitt was found in the Georgia Death Index 1919-1998. She died in Jenkins County, May 5, 1938. No death record for Robert could be found.51
Robert Nesbitt indicated in census records that both he and his parents were born in Georgia, yet he could not be located in the 1880 census when he would have been of an age to still be living with them. He also does not seem to have a social security claims application, death certificate, or other record noting the names of his parents. The Robert Nesbitt listed by the client as living in Colleton County, South Carolina, was born in South Carolina, not Georgia, and so does not appear to be the same man.
Given that Robert’s surname was Nesbitt, and he named a son Charles, it could be that Robert had a familial association with Charles E. Nesbitt, who owned a plantation in the same district where Robert lived his entire life.52
To discover or verify ancestors of Willie Elijah Hill through his mother Willie Mae Mathews’
Willie Mae Hill
Willie Mae Hill’s maiden name is uncertain because three of her children declare it to be something different in their social security claims applications.
Her son Eugene declares it is Willie M. Johnson.53
Her son Charles declares it is Willie M. Matthews.54
Her daughter Helen declares it is Willie M. Jone(s).55
They all declare their father is Willie Hill, so he must have used this name and not Elijah. A search for all of these surnames could not find a woman named Willie Mae, born in 1905 in Alabama, who married a male named Hill.
Census records show the client’s ancestor in her family tree as Elijah Hill, born about 1906, was always listed as William or Willie Hill. In the earliest record, he was found with Willie Mae in the 1930 census. They declared that had been married two years (since 1928).
1930 census, Indian River County, Florida56
Willie 25, railroad worker, born Georgia
Willie Mae 24, born Alabama
Charles 1 year, 5 months, born Florida
From this census, it can be determined that the family has been in Florida for at least a year and five months, since that is where Charles was born. It may also be supposed that Willie Hill, who in every census said he was born in Georgia, came to Florida from Georgia because of his job as a railroad worker.
They appeared again in the 1935 Florida State Census, living in Palm Beach County.
Wm. Hill, 28, RR worker57
Willie Mae Hill, 28
Charles 6
Mattie 3, Helen 2
Elijah 1
Eugene 4 months
This census is interesting because the name was misspelled as Hiel and because it was the first census in which Elijah Hill, born about 1933, is shown.
By 1940, still in Palm Beach County, William and Willie Mae have added Evelyn and Louise to the family.58
William Hill, 39, born Georgia Willie Mae Hill, 35, born Alabama Charles 11
Mattie Pearl 9
Helen 7
Junior 6 (this is Elijah) Eugene 5
Evelyn 3
Louise 2
Over the next five years, William and Willie Mae had three more children, but William does not appear in the 1945 Florida State Census, only Willie Mae and her children.59 Unfortunately, the state census does not ask for marital status so it could not be determined if Willie Mae was a widow, and the Florida Death Index, 1877-1939, shows no William or Elijah Hill matching Willie Mae’s husband.
Willie Hill, 39, female
Charles 15
Hattie 12
Helen 11
Willie 10
Eugene 9
Evelyn 7
Louise 5
Milton 4
Robert 2
Frank 1
Several attempts were made to find William Eljah Hill, born about 1906, in Georgia, prior to his marriage to Willie Mae, but there was nothing to identify him from among many William and Willie Hills in Georgia. Nor could any death or social security claim record be found for him that might have named his parents.
The Walter Hill and Pearlie Thompson listed as William’s parents in the client’s family tree were found in Thomas County, Georgia, in two census records. Neither record shows them with a son named William, Willie, or Elijah. In addition, Walter Hill’s World War I Draft Registration card indicated he was married with 6 children. This would have been 1917, well after William Elijah was born in 1905, yet the 1920 census shows Walter and Pearlie had six children by 1917, so all are accounted for in this census.
1910 Thomas County, Georgia60
Walter 23
Purty (Pearlie) 18
Milledge or Mildge, a son, 4
Leslie, 2
1920 Thomas County, Georgia61
Walter 33
Pearlie 25
Mildge 12
Lessie 10
Lottie 7, Andrew 5
Beulah 3
Annie 1 year, 11 months
Sam 3 months
The client’s family lines specified for research in the directive to genealogists.com included Mack, Smith, Nesbitt, and Hill (Mathews). Three of the four were located living in a part of Burke County, Georgia, that by 1905 had become part of Jenkins County. These families nearly
always were found in census records living in the same militia districts. Any ancestors who were enslaved were likely associated with plantations in this area, including the Jones plantations, now called Birdsville Plantation. There were also slave holders in this area of Burke County named Smith and Nesbitt but none named Mack. In Screven County, however, there was a
slave holding family named Mock that included a member named Asa Mock. This could be a source of the name of the client’s Asa Mack.
The Hill maternal line through Willie Mae could not be found except in records showing William Hill and Willie Mae Hill after their marriage when they were living in Florida. The son Elijah (also called Junior) is the marker that indicates these are the parents that the client calls Elijah Hill and Willie Mae Mathews. Though William states in every census that he was born in Georgia and Willie Mae in Alabama, their parents could not be found because of the common surnames in both states. There was nothing to identify them other than their marriage since the people designated as their parents on the client’s family tree appeared to be incorrect.
Asa Mack could be found in only a single census record in 1930. There were no slaves named Asa on available estate records in Burke County. There were no men named Asa Mack born about 1850 or before in records in Georgia or in the U.S., unless they were white or carried the name Mack as a middle name, not a surname. That he had children with Quilla Smith is proven by records of his children Knowledge Mack and Mary Mack, declaring that he is their father.
Quilla Smith was designated as the daughter of Maria (or Mariah) Smith in two census records,
1880 and 1900, as a child and then with all of her children. Quilla, according to the 1880 census had two siblings, Mitchell and Ramond. Ramond also appears in the 1900 census as a brother, but his surname was given as Lewis, rather than Smith. Quilla Smith was designated by four different names in various records: Quilla Smith, Quilla Mack Smith (Quilla Mack), Quillie (Quilly) Williams, and Quillie Scott. The research could not determine why two of Quilla’s children said her maiden name was Williams, not Smith, unless Maria Smith was married to a Williams but changed everyone’s name back to Smith by the 1880 census. Quillie Scott, the mother of Knowledge and Mary, provided the information on Mary’s death certificate stating that her maiden name was Williams.
Lottie Belle Nesmith was identified as the daughter of William Henry Nesbitt and Rosa Simmons. William’s parents first appeared to be Robert C. Nesbitt and Virginia Johnson, but William’s 1923 death record indicates his mother was a Minnie Green. No marriage records for Robert C. Nesbitt, who may have been married five times, could be found except for the one to Virginia Johnson. Robert also could not be located prior to 1900, though he was born about
1865 and should have been recorded with his parents in the 1880 census in Burke County.
Willie Mae Hill was identified by her children using three different maiden names: Johnson, Matthews, and Jones. Which is correct could not be determined, since a Willie Mae born in Alabama around 1905 with one of these surnames could not be found. Her husband William (Elijah) Hill was born in Georgia, yet he too could not be found prior to his marriage to Willie Mae, after which they lived in Florida. The Walter Hill and Pearlie Thompson on the client’s tree as William Elijah Hill’s parents do not appear in census records with a child by this name.
1. The first recommendation for further research would be to abandon the information collected in the client’s Dropbox and to focus on one person at a time, starting with someone in each surname line who is documented as definitely being related and then working back, documenting each generation. Such documentation would require two or more government records supporting a relationship to the previous generation. Naming patterns can be used as a research tool but often this is a last resort, since not everyone with the same name -- even
living in the same counties – may be related.
2. The second recommendation for further research would be to engage in the time-consuming process of going through unindexed records (court records, for instance) at the Burke County, Georgia, courthouse. There is no guarantee of finding anything but this kind of research can be rewarding since the records usually have not been looked over because they aren’t easily accessible.
1. Theroot.com
2. 1900 U.S. Census, Burke County, GA, District 75, p. 10.
3. Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, Knowledge Mack, 1936. ancestry.com.
4. Mary Mack Hicks, Georgia Dept. of Public Health, Certificate of Death, Millen, Jenkins County, Nov.
21, 1938,  #31710.
5. 1930 U.S. Census, Jenkins County, GA, District 1634, p. 11B.
6. 1910 U.S. Census, Jenkins County, GA, p. 1A; and State of Georgia Marriage Certificate, Burke County, Jan. 3, 1886, p. 191.
7. 1850 U.S. Census, Screven County, GA, p. 70.
8. 1870 U.S. Census, Burke County, GA, various pages.
9. 1850 U.S. Census, Burke County, GA, District 60-62, p. 274B-275A.
10. 1874-80 Burke County, GA, Tax Lists, Freedman’s District, no page number.
11. World War I Draft Registration Card, 10-2-28 A, Jenkins County, GA, District 1634, Knowledge Mack. Note: He could not write and signed the card with an X. His name is written by someone else as Knolledge.
12. 1900 U.S. Census,  Burke County,  GA, District  75, p. 75.
1920 U.S. Census,  Jenkins  County,  GA, District  1634, p. 2B.
1930 U.S. Census,  Jenkins  County,  GA, District  1634, p. 3.
1940 U.S. Census,  Jenkins  County,  GA, District  1634, p. 20A.
13. Cora Buxton Mack, Georgia Dept. of Public Health, Certificate of Death, Millen, Jenkins County, April
2, 1933,  #8467. Note: The death certificate gives her mother’s name as Amelia Jackson, but the marriage
certificate of her parents says Bush Buxton and Amelia Solomon.
14. 1940 U.S. Census, Jenkins County, GA, District 1635, p. 20A
15. 1930 U.S. Census, Jenkins County, GA, Millen, p. 32.
16. Quilla’s age in 1880 is given as 9, in 1900 as 36, in 1940 as 66. Which census records are more accurate is uncertain, though her mother stating her age as 9 in 1880 is from a source that should know, her mother.
17. Florida Death Index, 1877-1998, Broward County, Black, Male, Knowledge Mack.
18. Georgia Probate Records, 1742-1990, Burke County, Inventories and Assessments, 1856-1868, Seaborn Jones, October 1856, p. 75.
19. 1880 U.S. Census, Burke County, GA, District 74, p. 270.
20. 1900 U.S. Census,  Burke County,  GA, District  75, p. 10.
21. Mary Mack Hicks, Georgia  Dept. of Public Health,  Certificate of Death, Millen,  Jenkins
County,  Nov. 21, 1938,  #31710.
22. Social Security  Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, Knowledge Mack, 1936. ancestry.com.
23. 1870 U.S. Census, Burke County, Waynesboro, p. 38.
24. Collier, Melvin J. Uncovering the roots of Anakah: bridging the gap
between America and West Africa. Thesis. Clark University, Atlanta, GA, May 2008.
25. State of Georgia  Marriage  Certificate, Burke County,  Aug. 7, 1884, p. 555. Bush Buxton  was married  previously to either a Clara Williams  or a Caroline  Jones. The marriage  certificate records both names.
26. 1900 U.S. Census,  Burke County,  GA, District  75, p. 12B.
27. 1910 U.S. Census,  Jenkins  County,  GA, District  1634, p. 4A,
28. 1880 U.S. Census,  Burke County,  GA, District  75, p. 272.
29. 1880 U.S. Census,  Burke County,  GA, District  75, p. 276.
30. Georgia  Probate  Records,  1742-1990, Burke County  Inventories and Assessments, 1856-
1868, James W. Jones, Burke County,  GA, 1858, p. 291.
31. 1850 Slave Bill of Sale, William  E. Barnes to Seaborn  H. Jones, for girl Mariah,  age 5-6. County  Ordinary  Records,  Burke County,  1848-1886, no page number.
32. 1900 U.S. Census,  Burke County,  GA, District  75, p. 10.
33. 1880 U.S. Census,  Burke County,  GA, District  74, p. 256.
34. 1860 U.S. Census,  Slave holders,  Burke County,  GA, multiple  pages.
35. Georgia  Slaves Bills of Sale, Afrigeneas  http://www.afrigeneas.com/library/ga- slavebills/gaslavebills.burkeM.htm
36. 1900 U.S. Census,  Burke County,  GA, District  75, p. 10.
37. 1920 U.S. Census,  Greene  County,  GA, p. 8B.
38. 1900 U.S. Census,  Burke County,  GA, District  75, p. 10.
39. 1880 U.S. Census,  Burke County,  GA, District  75. P. 272.
40. Mariah  Mack, Georgia  Dept. of Public Health,  Certificate of Death, Jenkins  County,  May 12,
1925,  #13145
41. 1920 U.S. Census,  Jenkins  County,  District  1634, p. 13A.
42. World War I Draft Registration Cards, Jenkins  County,  GA, William  Henry Nesbitt.
43. 1900 U.S. Census,  Jenkins  County,  GA, District  75, p. 16.
44. State of Georgia  Marriage  Certificate, Burke County,  Aug. 7, 1898, p. 555.
45. 1900 U.S. Census, Jenkins County, GA, District 75, p. 16.
46. Florida Deaths, 1877-1939, William Nesbitt, born Rogers, GA, wife Rosa, father Robert Nesbitt, Millen GA, mother Minnie Green, Millen, GA, Nov. 12, 1923.
47. 1910 U.S. Census,  Jenkins  County,  GA, District  1634, p. 12A.
48. 1910 U.S. Census,  Jenkins  County,  GA, District  1634, p. 12A.
49. 1920 U.S. Census,  Jenkins  County,  GA, District  1634, p. 6B.
50. 1930 U.S. Census,  Jenkins  County,  GA, District  1634, p. 4A.
51. Georgia  Death Index, 1919-1998, Amy Nesbitt,  Jenkins  County,  GA, May 5, 1938.
52. Georgia  Compiled Census  and Census  Substitutes Index, 1790-1890, 1860 Slave Schedule, Burke County,  GA, District  75.
53. Social Security  Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. Eugene  Hill, West Palm Beach, Florida.
54. Social Security  Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. Charles  Hill, West Palm Beach, Florida.
55. Social Security  Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. Helen Hill, West Palm Beach, Florida.
56. 1930 U.S. Census,  Indian River County,  FL, p. 25.
57. 1935 Florida  State Census,  Palm Beach County,  no page number.
58. 1940 U.S. Census,  Palm Beach County,  FL, p. 38A.
59. 1945 Florida  State Census,  Palm Beach County,  no page number.
60. 1910 U.S. Census,  Thomas  County,  GA, p. 204A.
61. 1920 U.S. Census,  Thomas  County,  GA, p. 4A.
May 2016